Animal prints revisited

After writing the last post my search for animal prints has become almost obsessional!

How about this occasion dress from Hobbs? – reminds me of fish scales a little; rather like the Spanish synchronised swimming outfits….

Hobbs aphrodite dress £399.00

More than spots and stripes

Animal prints are very a la mode for Aut/Win 2012.  I think on discovering this my heart sank a little, imagining oodles of leopard print everywhere, trying to imagine myself in this look with all the assumptions that go with it..  I have researched and dug deep and been very pleasantly surprised; my favourite top actually being the often dubious leopard print.  Here it is courtesy of Hobbs.

Hobbs Betsy cardigan £79.00

I am orderlng it as I type.  I hope you enjoy the selection of animal prints coming your way.

Joules Elsie cardi £69.95

New Look Owl Jumper £44.99

Hobbs Cute owl tee now £29.00

Hobbs rabbit tee £35.00

Aubin&Wills Portland jumper £125.00

Sewing kit


A needles and pins section would not be complete without a look at the Merchant and Mills website – an English company that sells a fascinating array of traditional sewing equipment, from shiny, neat lace pins to tape measures, safety pins and scissors from Sheffield.  Simple fabrics and patterns are also available.

My favourite is the oil skin sewing kit.  It contains the exact basics to quickly repair your garments.  I keep mine in the bottom of my wardrobe so that I know exactly where it is when a button drops off a shirt at the last minute!

I would not be at all surprised if, after viewing the Merchant and Mills site, you were tempted to make your own clothes.  Everything you need is available to you, lovely cardboard patterns that are durable – no more fighting with ridiculously thin tissue paper – and a small selection of fabrics that vary in weight.  Take a look at the sewing box which contains dressmaking basics.  With the right tools you can achieve anything!

Hand made clothes are coming back into fashion and the art of creating a well finished garment is in the pressing; not ironing, but pressing.  There is a difference.  Unsure? Check my article on ‘the iron’.

Female strength and sophistication



As I browse for the millionth time through the display of Autumn/Winter fashions to come I can be drawn to the creativity of Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Jean Paul Gaultier.  I love the huge hats and huge buttons of Louis Vuitton and the effortless snow feathers of Alexander McQueen.  I can enter into Narnia with A.McQueen’s ‘snow boots’.  But ultimately I am drawn back to this strong undercurrent of female independence and sophistication; a strength in simple lines and strong fabrics.  Masha Ma leads this theme I think.      Catwalk lines breathe ‘powerful woman’ with a touch of vunerability when the colour theme is changed to white.  It is the interplay between light and dark, tough and tender which seems to repeat time and time again throughout each designer this season.

Alexander Wang gives us a look of strength and independence and Dior continues albeit with a more gentle vision.  These jackets still give off a feel of princess/warrior combination.  Calvin Klein has severe but oh so sophisticated leather clad ‘warriors’ whilst Yves Saint Laurent has taken the simple lines of female strength and given us a very sophisticated look.